Kitchen Remodel Budget

Updated on August 05, 2013
P.G. asks from Frisco, TX
19 answers

I want to remodel my kitchen. New cabinets, new floor, new appliences, etc... What kind of price am I looking at? When I ask remodel places to come in and give me an estimate, they will ask what my budget is. I don't want to say something to high to make them drool and think they can get away with stuff. But I don't want it too low and get cheap stuff either.

What is a reasonable budget or what do I tell these people?

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answers from New York on

I did my kitchen (12x16) but cabinet wise, they consider it a 10x10. Grand total, cabinets, counter, floor and appliances $17,000. Lowes did it. Cam out amazing. I use middle grade of everything. The were awesome to work with. If they said 7:20am they were here exactly at. One cabinet was missing so we had to wait two weeks, they gave me a couple of hundred dollars off. My counter is solid stone Quartz. Like it much better than granite.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I am kind of confused. If I have 10,000 to remodel the kitchen that is my budget, 5,000 that is my budget, 20,000 that is my budget. My brother went high end everything and his was 68,000 six years ago. I could do my whole kitchen under 15,000 because I do all the work myself.

So what I am saying is there is no answer to the question. The budget is what you can afford and what that gets you is determined by that.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

P., I'm a general contractor, and I'm worried you're going to be taken advantage of here, because you're going into this not really knowing what you want or what things cost. What I would recommend is this. You know how much money you'd like to spend, right? So you need to work backwards from there. I would recommend that you do some research on appliances, and figure out what you want. Purchase those items yourself. There is no reason to have a general contractor do that for you, since they will then mark up the price. Why spend 10-15% extra on that? No need. In my experience, if you love to cook, you want to spend the bulk of your money on good appliances. But don't just go out and buy a Viking stove because it's the most expensive one at the appliance store. Really do your research and figure out which one is going to suit your needs.

Once you've bought your appliances, it will be easier to research cabinetry. Do you like the layout of your kitchen now? Do you want to move things around? Spend some time thinking about how you want your kitchen to function and how you will use it. Spending the time now to do that will save you money in the long run. The most expensive words a client can ever say to us is, "While you're at it..." You might as well just hear, "Ka-ching!" and see the dollar signs going up. Be VERY clear on what you want before you ever talk to a contractor.

Now, with cabinetry, don't be afraid to look at companies like IKEA. Yes, you have to put the cabinetry together, but once that's done, it's actually very decent quality, and you have tons of options. We have remodeled several kitchens using IKEA cabinets, and have been very impressed with the results. We're talking cabinetry for $5-8K for a good-sized kitchen, and the results are similar to kitchens where the owners have paid $25K+ for cabinets. So, just some food for thought. But again, decide what cabinets you want (down to where you want drawers vs cabinets) before bringing a GC into the picture.

Countertops... depending upon the size of your kitchen and what finishes you want, the sky is the limit. Supposing you know you want granite countertops, go to your local granite/marble shop and look at the slabs they have. If your kitchen is smaller, and you're flexible on color/finish, you could even end up buying a slab remnant for a fraction of the price. We've done that on several occasions and ended up with beautiful granite countertops for $5K installed. But if you choose a fancier slab of granite, or have it imported especially for you from Italy, you could end up paying $30K. Truly, the sky is the limit. Or you could do porcelain tile counters and pay almost nothing for them. Totally up to you. Do some research into this and decide what you want.

So, long story short, I recommend that you:
1) Decide on your appliances. Purchase them.
2) Decide what layout you want. Sketch it out.
3) Decide what finishes you'd like, ideally. Look around at different distributors to see what's available, and to get a general idea of price.
4) Then, contact several GCs for bids. The more specific you are in your instructions to them, the better the prices will be. When we don't know what all you're going to ask us to do, the price goes up (we aren't in it to lose money).

Alternately, you could hire an architect (if you know you want to move things around all over the place, take walls out, add a lot of electrical, etc). However, for most remodels, this is not necessary.

Good luck - message me if I can help you figure anything out.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

What kind of cabinets do you like? How much do they cost?
What kind of countertops do you like? How much do they cost?
What kind of flooring do you like? How much does that cost?
What kind of treatment on the walls do you want? What does that cost?
What kind of sink and faucet do you want? What does that cost?
What kind of appliances do you want/need? How much do they cost?
Will you be replacing windows? If so, what kinds and again how much?

Long story short we all want what we want but can we afford it.

I was able to redo 2 kitchens for $5,000.00 That costs was for new sinks, faucets, backspashes, upper and lower cabinets. I also did much of the work myself. So the labor costs were dramatically reduced.

I would strongly recommend you look into picking up the materials yourself and then finding a qualified and licensed professional install them. Much cheaper this way since many contractors mark up the costs on the materials in their pricing to you. Enoy your kitchen remodel.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

Everything Julie F said is dead on. However, the other thing to mention is to be sure your contract is very clear. I just built a house and I compiled information and provided prints and every contractor (except 1) put in a 20% contingency. Well, the reality is, I couldn't afford a 20% contingency. So, I finally found one contractor that signed a bottom line price - but, we had to select EVERYTHING before hand - tile, carpet, paint, cabinets, etc (which was fine with me). Also, just for your information, one of the contractors who provided a quote to me put in his quote "painted cabinets" and I had asked for stained cabinets. In my head I said, "Well, he knows what I want and so this contract is probably correct." But, I DID call his references and one of them said that they too had asked for stained cabinets and the contract said painted and he dipped into their contingency fund when it came time for the cabinets to actually be stained.

Another thing to note is - make sure you understand what the follow up is from your contractor - are they going to fix any little thing that bothers you in the first 30 days? Are they going to give you a warranty on the workmanship?

If you go and do what Julie says - pick out everything you are interested in first - you will get a good idea of the price of the items. Then, the unknown for you will be labor.

And, you DEFINITELY have to stay on top of them. These are some of the things I caught:
1. They installed a regular tub when I had asked and paid for a jet tub.
2. I wanted a faucet in the kitchen that had a separate sprayer - I don't like the new faucets with the integrated sprayers. However, they are used to more of the new builds having the integrated faucets. So, the granite arrived to be installed with only one hole drilled in it. They had to get someone from the granite company to come out and drill another hole for the sprayer.
3. They installed the wrong toilets.

Mistakes they made that I did NOT catch:
1. I wanted my washer and dryer to be stacked. But ,they put up cabinets in the laundry room that went across the whole laundry are so that the units could not be stacked. By the time I discovered this, I decided not to have them rip them out and I still regret that.

Another thing for you to think about if you are doing a kitchen remodel - I have an under the sink hot water heater in my kitchen. Its 1.5 or 2 gallons (I can't remember which), but that means the water in my kitchen is always quite hot. I don't have to wait for it to get hot. I LOVE it. But, in order to have that, I had to have an additional outlet put in under the sink. The one that is used for the dishwasher will not work for this.

Also, you may be better off not going with a big remodeler who sub-contracts all the different elements out. You might be better off using a small remodel guy who will do most of the work himself.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

A reasonable budget is going to vary, based on what you are comfortable spending, & what the market dictates in price (for the same item in a different location).

You can get a nice kitchen remodel for 5-15K, by going to a "box store" (Menards, Home Depot, etc.) & paying a local handyperson to install the materials, or even doing some work yourself. Costs go up as you increase the quality of the items (obviously if you put in a Viking stove, your remodel will go over 10K). You will get a nice, functional kitchen.

15-40K gets you the same kitchen, but now you are working with a specific kitchen/bath remodel company, the material choices are more high-end, & they do all the work @ their prices. There is still some leeway to control costs, based on the products & materials chosen. You will get an updated, bells & whistles kitchen.

Over 40K, you are using an upscale company, choosing expensive products that cost for materials & precise installation. You may be reconstructing the flow of design in the room, adding space, taking down walls, changing the power sources & locations, installing windows, etc. You will get exactly what you want, & might turn into a bit of a diva in the process. =-)

Now, these are basic prices I am pulling from the middle-class, midwest USA. California, New York, Chicago - more expensive.

So, if you are working with a company that is coming to your home & giving you quotes, I am going to assume you are already in the 15-40K range. Give them what you can comfortably spend, & ask them to work with you on getting as high quality @ a cost efficient result.

Good luck! T.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We recently remodeled our kitchen, and it was under $20,000. And I would not use a general contractor. I can do that myself. We did do the 1 2 and 3 that Hell on Heels suggested, then we called a cabinet maker. But we chose the cabinet maker by looking at model homes and deciding what we wanted our kitchen to look like first. The cabinet maker helped us design everything, and anything my husband and I wanted to incorporate, was done. Then we found a floor guy, who knew a reputable tile installer, and so on. We needed an electrician, so we hung out in the electrical department at Home Depot and asked some people if they knew any electricians, and poof we found one in 30 minutes, who happened to work at the local university. We explained to him what we needed, and he came out the next day. My husband was able to install our new appliances. You can save a lot of money if you do it yourself, and you can spend that money on your kitchen. You just have to do lots of research and maybe be on the phone a lot while you are in the process. We now have an absolutely beautiful kitchen that people say looks like it could be in a magazine, with top of the line everything. We looked for sales too, and price matching when we could. And it was all done for under 20K, and our kitchen was down to the studs when we started the project.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Tell them your budget or give them a range. Your budget will determine the quality and finishes you can get. If you spend more you will get higher end stuff. You will get what you pay for. You can go to an appliance store and price the appliances yourself. You can also go to a flooring store and check out the prices of tile or hardwood per sq. ft. Etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I'm curious of the answers. We are starting the process as well. However, I believe ours will be somewhere in the 30's or higher because I want to remove a wall. The wall is a load bearing wall with AC duct in it. So my cost just went up significantly. Plus I'm changing the foot print except I'm not moving the plumbing but we are going to bring in gas. The remodeling company is coming out August 10th! Yay!!!

We did another kitchen several years ago and it was around $5000. We did all the work ourselves except for the counter top. We paid someone to install those and we used the same footprint.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Hi P.,

We did a major downstairs remodel---including gut of the kitchen, two years ago. While we did not change the footprint or add/tear out walls (which can really add to the cost), we did literally start with a blank slate in the kitchen, so our costs were more than what others are quoting here.

Much of your work needs to be done before the demo ever starts. You must begin with knowing your absolute max budget and then set about researching what you can get for that cost. Research what you want, find out costs, decide what you can afford, and make necessary adjustments to your "wants" vs. "needs" list.

There was a really great kitchen remodel guide (Consumer Reports, I think--they do one every season) that I kept with me at all times and also had a separate notebook with all of my sketches, measurements, costs, notes, products, etc. I had all this ready to go before meeting with contractors.

Once you know about the general range of costs involved and what you're willing to spend, then start getting estimates. Get at least three. The best bet is word of mouth and knowing someone who has had work done by the company so you can see the work, either in pictures, or better yet, in person (if friends or family have had work done). Ask for references, and definitely call those references.

We did all of that and still had to fire our GC for breach of contract. For whatever reason, some of the subs they hired for our job were just incompetent, and the other main partner (whom we hadn't met initially) was also incompetent and unprofessional. I think the company had the ability to do good work, but they were awarded a contract on a project in CA during our renovation and started to work on that project while doing ours. That was never part of our original deal; it happened after our project was started.

They had no leg to stand on as I had everything in writing regarding our very reasonable requests and complaints about the quality of their work and lack of timeliness. They went away with no further fuss when they received a letter from our lawyer. I just add that to let you know ahead of time to do all your research; get everything in writing in your contract; KNOW your contract; and keep good notes of the daily work and any issues you may have. Also, keep good communication with your GC. I talked with ours to check in on a regular basis, made our concerns known verbally, and then in writing, and was always given "don't worry, we'll get that," by the "good guy" but unfortunately, the "bad GC" was the one here most of the time and never followed through.

I ended up getting the rest of the subs: cabinet-maker, plumber, electrician, tile, painters, etc. to tear out the old company's mistakes and do the work correctly. The old company did have to pay for some of this.

Hell on Heels gives great guidance on this. If you have $XXXXX, work backward from that as you list each of your "must have" items. Appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring, and labor will take a bulk of the budget, but many other things are often over-looked: new lighting fixtures, new plate switches (if your old ones are worn or dated and would stick out like sore thumbs in an all new kitchen), under-cabinet or in-cabinet lighting, baseboards, hardware for pantry doors, cabinets, and drawers, new sink, faucets, ventilation----all of these things add up. Another over-looked thing is garbage. If you want the garbage to go into a pull-out in your cabinet, be sure to tell your contractor that ahead of time. All of these things add up, and making changes after the project has started is costly and adds to the time of the project.

When you are looking at appliances, fixtures, flooring, countertops, etc., find out how long it takes to get the product. One of my granite choices was delayed, and I had to make another choice so the project could move ahead. I ordered my appliances early, during a huge sale, and then stored them crated in one of our garages until it was time for them to be installed.

Visit your local stone yards and see what's available, what you like, if they have it in stock, or if it has to be ordered, etc. You'll find great differences between these companies. Sometimes, if you go through Home Depot or Lowe's, it will be more costly because of mark-ups. If you go with an independent company, sometimes, you may get their cost ---it all depends. I ended up getting it on my own, and although it was still costly, I wasn't paying a GC for this.

Look at consumer reports to get the latest on the most reliable appliances. Don't go with the highest end name just because. Go into the stores and look at several brands. Test out the knobs, open doors, look at the overall set-up to see if it will meet your needs. Take measurements: Will the refrigerator fit in the space you plan or will you have to give up some cabinet space for a wider model?

If you decide on glass backsplash, make sure the tile guys are experienced in glass installation. Our original GC sent someone who'd not worked with glass and he ended up ruining it all by not cutting with the correct saw and then wiping over the glass with grout water which scratched the glass surface. Most of it had to be ripped out, re-ordered (which took even more time) and re-installed by the new tile guys. Ugh----don't relish these memories.

But, I do love my new kitchen and the rest of the downstairs renovations we did. It's taken me two years to be ready to tackle the upstairs now, but I learned so much during the previous experience.

Sorry about the length, but I hope some of my experiences will be helpful to you. Good luck and enjoy the process and your new kitchen!

J. F.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Look into refacing your cabinets instead of replacing them, unless they are in terrible shape. New finish or paint plus new hardware cuts the cost by as much as 2/3. You can often find appliances at store outlets - brand new but either a closeout model or maybe it has a scratch on the side (who cares if the fridge is going in between two sets of cabinets?). You can negotiate at these stores (e.g. the Sears outlet) and I know several people who say you can negotiate at any appliance store especially if you are buying more than one thing. I wouldn't have the contractor buy the appliances because they're going to mark it up. I would, however, be sure to give the dimensions so I didn't wind up with something 1 inch too wide for the space!

Sometimes the big stores like Home Depot and Lowe's have classes to help you learn enough to make decisions.

As others have said, everything else is relative - size of kitchen, materials used (granite vs. formica, laminate vs. hardwood vs. tile), and how much you do yourself.



answers from Kansas City on

Materials x 2 roughly has been what I've found with remodel projects.
You can get vinyl flooring for $1 sq FT or 2 FT terra cotta tiles for $30 each.
You need to have a rough idea of what you want: tile wood or vinyl flooring, real wood or composite cabinets, appliances, etc.
I'd start by getting familiar with your options so you can tell them where to start. A good contractor should be able to show you samples/examples if materials at different price points.



answers from Kansas City on

There are just so many variables. We just did a complete gut. Didn't change the floor plan really but tore down walls to open it up. A lot of our cost came from updating electrical and other out of date things like that. Our attached family room had not one overhead light. Now it has 8. Things like that really add up.

My husband is an appliance snob so we spent a lot of money there. However I did make him shop for bargains on those and we did not pay full price on any of them.

I wanted really spectacular granite counters so that was really pricey too.

We spent about $55,000 but I bet if we had chosen different finishes we could done it for about $30,000. But this is our forever home and we are beyond thrilled with it and our neighborhood home prices can support that kind if upgrade. So for us that worked. I also think I coułd have spent another $20,000 if we hadn't cut some corners.

We just figured out what was most important for us to spend money on and where we could save.

Good luck to you. You will be so happy when it is complete!



answers from Chicago on

We re did our kitchen.. 2 years ago. We gutted it, but kept the fridge, & Stove.

My kitchen is 8 x 8

Cabinets were $3.5k
Counter Granite- $1800
new appliances $1000.00 ($250.00 dishwasher, $600.00 over stove Convection oven/microwave).
Labor for Brother in Law and Electrician

All together about $9k



answers from Wichita Falls on

Kitchens prices can vary widely based on size, materials used, if you change the floor plan, etc. I would draw out a floor plan of your kitchen with a list of what you want to do with it and take it down to Home Depot or Lowes and discuss with their kitchen remodel people about what it would cost. Add about 10%-20% to that number and you should have a fair estimate.



answers from Dallas on

With all new recycled glass counter-tops (EnviroGlas, $70/sqft with mother-of-pearl and glow-in-the-dark inlays), subway tile back-splash with mosaic mother-of-pearl border, two sinks (including new pipes ran for a new mini-sink and pot-filler faucet by the stovetop), new appliances (LG, Electrolux, Bosch), some wiring (moved ALL the outlets to 'under-the-cabinet', so you cannot see them, HIGHLY Recommend!!), new gas line to convert the stovetop to gas (Jenn-Air), and top of the line custom faucets (moen/elkay) including an instant-hot faucet for tea, we were just under $20,000 in 2007.

(We kept all of our cabinetry, which was beautiful and in great shape, but had it re-lacquered.)

Ira Wood & Sons and AJ Madison online for appliances, sinks, faucets.

And the local Sears Outlet at Grapevine Mills Mall in Grapevine, TX for 'scratch and dent discounts'.

I do NOT use contractors, I make all plans and decisions myself and get all materials myself to save cash.

Feel free to message me for some tips and things I would definitely get, Good Luck!



answers from Dallas on

Gut remodel - 10% of property value. Heavy update - 5% of property value.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I have heard that a kitchen can run $25K and up. It's the appliances that eat the budget. Thank goodness I don't have to have stainless steel. I got mine for about $1000 each and love the black finish.



answers from San Francisco on

$10 to $20 thousand is normal, but there are SO many variables, like if mold or other things are discovered during the tear out, and the cost of your finishes.
You really do need a budget, just tell them it's thirty percent lower than what it actually is, because that is what you'll end up paying.
Get MANY quotes and references.

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